"It is important to listen first and get to know the organisation, leaders and team”

William Blair, Vice president & Chief executive, Lockheed Martin India on five things a new CEO must focus on

Published 4 years ago on Jun 05, 2020 1 minute Read

Unlearn and relearn:  As a new leader, while you may bring a breadth of know-how and know-why experience, it is important to listen first and get to know the organisation, leaders and team. The key to smooth transition is to stay nimble and be balanced in translating experience. Be aware of built-in bias’ and habit loops developed over decades.

Communicate shared purpose: The new CEO should identify a shared purpose for the company. It is imperative to articulate the overall objective, break down the company’s vision into a set of easily understood corporate goals, and further condense them to lines of businesses/function-specific objectives with measurable outcomes.

Know your customers: The ability to understand your customer will define your competitiveness and relevance. Invest time and energy in getting to know your customers’ needs and particularly unmet needs that they may not be aware of. Once customers know that you put their needs first, they will always come back to you. 

Shape the culture: Organisational culture is often cited as both a key driver of change and barrier to execution. Seek diversity of mindset, experience and thinking, and involve your team in important decisions. This fosters a sense of belonging, inspiring the team to look at the bigger picture and take ownership.

Foster transparency: Putting issues or risks on the table and speaking about them openly — with the employees, customers, board and external stakeholders — builds an environment of trust. It lays the foundation for weathering challenges and delivering sustainable growth.